Friday, April 27, 2007

So, You Think You Want To Be A Citizen Pundit?

We often experience this exchange on the New Hampshire Primary Trail:

Us: "I am a Citizen Pundit. Hear me roar!" (Cue chest beating).

Them: "A what?" (Cue puzzled look).

Well then, let us explain.

- a person who has a membership (read: pays taxes) in a political community (town, city, country etc.) and has the right of political participation in that community.


Pundit - a expert or opinion-leader who analyzes events in his or her area of expertise and then disseminates their analysis through a popular medium.

= Citizen Pundit

We pay taxes (35% bracket last we looked). We have opinions (oh boy do we ever). And we have a internet connection that we are not afraid to use.

Content talks and bullsh*t walks. It's a brave new (flat) world.

Of course, it's the "expertise" part of the pundit definition that gives so many members of the Gang of 500 heartburn.

"But, you're not really an 'expert', are you?" many of them happily state when we explain to them what it is that we do.

We'll just smile and say, "Well, most of you aren't either, are you?"

Note to Citizen Pundits who come after Monday Morning Clacker: Avoid referencing (too heavily) the MSM (read: "paid" journalists so eager to hold onto their Washington access that they act blind, deaf and dumb) who dropped the ball in the lead-up to the Iraq War. Especially on a Presidential Press Bus. Or prepare to cut the awkward silence with a knife.

Note to the 350 (or so) Gang of 500 members who are nothing but deadwood: You better get your asses in gear. We can't stand Howard Dean, but he is right about the "news as info-tainment" phenomenon. And, the rising generation is absolutely getting their news from non-traditional sources.

Translation: We don't think that we are breaking any new ground when we state (unequivocally) that many members of the Gang of 500 are lazy and pack oriented even BEFORE they are incompetent.

Iceberg dead ahead!

But that's a problem for the info-tainment corporations'. And their shareholders. We're moving forward.

So, what does a Citizen Pundit do?

Well, we are the folks who gleefully jump up and down yelling, "The Emperor has no clothes! The Emperor has no clothes!"

Of course, bomb tossing is easy. Any Tom, Dick or Harry blogger ("reporter") can do that.

Crib Note: We do like bomb tossing. How can you not when you have Hiz Honor and Big Love running for President? But that's not why we're here.

GreenMountainPolitics1 attempts to inform, in a meaningful way, its readership. Of course, when we say "inform" we generally mean "outlining the world as seen by Monday Morning Clacker".

But so what? In the Information Age every computer screen is a church door and every blog post is a Theses.

If you don't like what we write simply move on to the next church.

And, to be honest (and not too arrogant) we'll put our opinions up against anyone else's (though some more politely than others). This doesn't mean that we are always correct. Far from it. It simply means that we have spent and do spend a whole lot of time thinking about this crazy Republic of ours and we have opinions. And we look forward to sharing that opinion.

There are hundreds of folks just like us (probably thousands). We cover angles of the American political process that the MSM (in general) is too tired, too vested in the status quo or to stupid to look at.

Every as*hole has an opinion and (almost) every as*hole has a Internet connection.

Breaking outside the Gang of 500's filter is a good thing for our American democracy. Are there risks and downsides to flattening the information pipeline? Of course. But, the benefits far outweigh those risks.

Don't believe us? Take a look at this and this. This is what happens when you have a media elite too invested in the status-quo to report reality.

So, the New Media will do it for them.

Noted: Yes, we admit, when you are dealing with the New Media you have to kiss many frogs to find a prince. But there are princes.

Content talks and bullsh*t walks. The world is flat.

So flat that when we write a blog post on "Hillary Clinton" our post is processed and disseminated in the exact same way by Clinton's communication staff as is a news article about Hillary Clinton in the New York Times. Of course the NYT article is given more weight at the outset (more eyeballs in general), but GMP1 can go viral just as easily as a NYT's article and (competent) political Game Players recognize this.

Content talks and bullsh*t walks. The world is flat.

Crib Note: The concrete nature of this simple fact keeps Redstone/Murdoch/Immelt up at night.

MSM journalists (the 4th Branch) must help maintain the integrity of the other 3 branches of government to remain relevant. You are not doing your jobs!

American Idol, Paris Hilton, the American political horse race - these are empty calories!

You are going to have enough trouble remaining relevant in the Information Age without allowing long lunches at the Palm and the credo "give the mob what it wants" to continue to cloud your judgement.

Here come the Citizen Pundits.

We're just saying.